Reign of Fire (2002)

Rob Bowman directs Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey and Izabella Scorupco in this apocalyptic fantasy movie where dragons have driven modern humanity to the brink of existence.

London has become a dragon’s nest. US military skydivers think they have a way of killing them. Christian Bale just wants to keep his orphanage of very clean children out of the firing line. A film that was always going to be a better poster and trailer. The production design owes a lot to Alien3; sackcloth and industrial gothic. Hell, the score even steals the starbeast’s brass section’s urgent wail. And if it just stuck to physical looks then it would be an adequate actioner. The dragon effects are ropey though. McConaughey chews some scenery for the longueurs when the wispy polygon threat toddles off away from the narrative. And then it never really gets going. The finale feels particularly limited and truncated. Probably best you just imagine where this concept could go in your head for 90 minutes rather than sit through this passable grim fudge.


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